Scottish food and drinks companies court Asian audience
Scottish drinks companies are set to showcase their wares in Singapore this week in an effort to appeal to new Asian distributors, importers and retailers.
The event, led by Scottish Development International (SDI) the international arm of Scottish Enterprise, has reported it will host 13 companies at the food and drink trade event Food & Hotel Asia (FHA) in what has become the continent’s biggest food and drink show.
Whisky distiller and craft brewers along with premium snack manufacturers and growers will court 35,000 attendees from more than 50 countries and regions across the world at the event. SDI also has plans to co-host a networking reception for buyers at the British High Commissioner’s Residence as part of the event timetable.
Neil McInnes, head of southeast Asia and Asia Pacific lead for consumer industries at SDI, said: “Scotland is renowned overseas as a land of food and drink, particularly here in the Asia Pacific region. This is the first major trade show in Asia that Scottish companies will have travelled out to post-Covid, as we look to support companies to re-engage with customers and support their continued recovery, post-pandemic by helping them to target new markets in Asia Pacific.”
Edinburgh-based Bellfield Brewery sales manager Elliot Lamb explained: “We’re already seeing good export growth in the European market but exhibiting at Food & Hotel Asia gives us an opportunity to showcase our fantastic range of craft beers to a new audience. We’ve identified Asia, and specifically Singapore, as a priority for our export business in the future and we are hoping to meet with importers and distributors from multiple markets across Southeast Asia and the wider APAC market.”
SDI has revealed that it is reportedly seeing growing interest from Scottish exporters to trade in Asia, as well as more demand from overseas buyers looking for premium Scottish produce, highlighting how, during 2021 and 2022, trade opportunities in the region for Scottish firms has almost doubled compared to the previous financial year.
McInnes added: “Our intelligence also suggests that Scottish companies expect to see their export levels increase during 2022/23. That’s why we are strengthening our engagement with exporters and enhancing our presence in key markets, including here in Singapore, as well as in new markets like Indonesia, where we’ve recently recruited SDI’s first dedicated food and drink specialist based in Jakarta.”
Scotland Food & Drink interim chief executive John Davidson revealed: “Exports of Scottish food and drink around the world were valued at £6.2bn in 2021, up £738m (13.5%) compared to 2020 and up over 14% for the Asia Pacific region. While our producers continue to face challenges in the face of rising costs, there does continue to be significant market opportunities for our food and drink companies and our activity is designed to help them take advantage of these opportunities, including raising their profile at the Food & Hotel Asia event.”